STUFF: Ten Things Walter Robinson Owns and Loves

by Art Fag City on April 23, 2013 STUFF

[Editor’s note: Are you having trouble understanding artists through their art? Understand them through their STUFF instead. Art history never elucidates the importance of the artist’s dual role as creator and person who owns STUFF, even though STUFF is important: it’s what accumulates when you make decisions. Owning someone’s STUFF helps you channel their spirit and personal brand. This is our tribute to STUFF. From books, to art works, to phony iPads, these lists will contain both the common and the strange. This week we bring you a very personal list from artist and writer Walter Robinson!]


Pile of Unread Magazines

My pile of unread art magazines, like homework that is never done, a promise & a sign of my foolishest aspirations. This pile is at the studio; I have another one at home.



My t-shirts, especially concert tees (like Jon Bon Jovi, yeah!) or places I’ve been (Ocean Grove, Delhi, N.Y.). I used to have one commemorating Pope John Paul’s visit to NYC, but now it’s worn out and I can’t remember the date.


Healthy Lunch packed with love

Celery, carrots & tomatoes. My wife packs me a healthy lunch each day.



Medicines and pharmaceuticals — this should be self-explanatory. Notice, no vitamins.


Toothpick Tetrahedron

Toothpick tetrahedron, or triangle pyramid, made by my late second wife when she was a teen for a project of her father’s, the sculptor Tony Smith.


1st Century AD Roman Erotica

1st century AD Roman erotica, perhaps an oil lamp fragment, that’s not really mine since I bought it as an anniversary present. Whereas the antique is thought of as classical, time’s ravages have made this expressionist.


Studio and Ford Escort

My car, parked in front of my studio building. The car is a ’98 Ford Escort that belonged to my mother, and the studio is in Long Island City down the road from MoMA PS1.


Buddha Head

Buddha head – my third wife was divorcing me, and one day while I was at work she came into the apartment and took almost everything. After I got over the shock, I looked around and realized that I had basically stepped aside and let her decorate the house (while I paid the bills). I didn’t have any “stuff” of my own – at least none of the collectible knickknacks that decorate most people’s homes. So I went to a SoHo import shop and got a silver Buddha head. A sign of my serenity.


Antonia’s “Art Ball”

Antonia’s “Art Ball” – when my kid was in secondary school, the pupils were told to bring in a pet, and since she didn’t have one, she customized this tennis ball.


iPhone and Mobile life

My iPhone, which I used to take these photos and write these notes. After 35 years of desk work, now I’m all about mobile.

Walter Robinson is an art critic who was founding editor of Artnet Magazine (1996-2012), and who also served as art editor of the East Village Eye (1983-85) and as a contributor to Art in America (1980-1996). During 1973-77 he co-published and co-edited Art-Rite magazine. He is the author of Instant Art History (Ballantine, 1995).


Robinson is a painter who has exhibited his work at Metro Pictures, Haunch of Venison and other galleries; his recent exhibitions include “Hello from New York” at Firecat Projects in Chicago (December 2012) and “Indulgences” at Dorian Grey Gallery in the East Village (March 2013).

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